Charging Bulls No. 2 in BCS standings

South Florida trails only Ohio State

October 15, 2007|By Randall Mell | Randall Mell,South Florida Sun-Sentinel

No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 2 South Florida.

If the Bowl Championship Series national championship were played next weekend, that would be the matchup. The Buckeyes (7-0) and Bulls (6-0) were atop yesterday's release of the first BCS standings with Boston College (7-0) at No. 3.

Wow.

That pretty much sums up the remarkable debut of the 2007 BCS standings.

After yet another weekend of stunning upsets, the Buckeyes and Bulls lead the journey on what's proving to be a crazy, twisting road to the New Orleans Superdome and the Jan. 7 national title game.

South Florida wasn't ranked by the Associated Press or USA Today when the season started. The upstart Bulls, just 10 years and 27 days removed from their first football game, might be amid the most remarkable Cinderella season in college football history.

The Bulls have never played in a BCS bowl game but have their sights set on the biggest of them all.

"Sure, they have a chance," said BCS analyst Jerry Palm, who runs CollegeBCS.com. "They are an undefeated team in a major college conference. Since the BCS started [in 1998], no undefeated team in a major college conference, except Auburn [in 2004], has been left out of the championship game."

The Buckeyes can thank the poll voters for making them No. 1. Ohio State is No. 1 in both the USA Today coaches' poll and the Harris poll, which are two of the three components the BCS uses in its standings formula. Six computers make up the third component of the BCS formula.

Ohio State also was the new No. 1 team in the AP Top 25 after No. 1 LSU and No. 2 California lost Saturday.

"It's always nice to be in the top position, but we know it doesn't mean anything now in Week 8," Ohio State tackle Kirk Barton said. "We'll see at the end of November how things stand."

All of the teams in the preseason AP top 10 have lost this season.

Boston College is No. 3 in the BCS, LSU No. 4, Oklahoma No. 5, South Carolina No. 6, Kentucky No. 7 and Arizona State No. 8.

Though Boston College was No. 2 and South Florida No. 3 in both the USA Today and Harris polls, the BCS computers favor South Florida because of quality victories at Auburn and against West Virginia. The computers gave the Bulls enough points to vault over the Eagles in the BCS standings. South Florida was No. 1 in five of the six BCS computers.

BCS critics have some more ammunition with the release of the newest poll.

Ohio State is No. 1 despite having no victories against teams currently ranked among the BCS Top 25.

Boston College also has no victories against teams currently among the BCS Top 25 and only one game remaining against a Top 25 team (No. 11 Virginia Tech).

South Florida has two victories against Top 25 foes (No. 9 West Virginia and No. 17 Auburn). The Bulls have one Top 25 foe remaining (No. 23 Cincinnati).

LSU has three victories against Top 25 teams (No. 6 South Carolina, No. 11 Virginia Tech and No. 15 Florida) and possibly two Top 25 foes remaining (No. 17 Auburn and the Southeastern Conference East champ in a possible league title game).

"If I were voting this week, I'd still vote LSU No. 1, even though they just lost," Palm said. "I still think they're the most accomplished team and the best team."

Randall Mell writes for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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